Sister Patty Wallace walks in the footsteps of her elder sisters
When a Sister of Providence passes away, the ritual of the Congregation is to reflect upon the ministry, and life of our departed sister in a “commentary.” I discovered these reflections about our departed Sisters:
“Simplicity, happiness and obliging others without being judgmental radiated from her manner,”
“She spent her life using words to give testimony to this word whom she recognized and loved as life and light for all,”
“It’s as if this was always where she was meant to be; this place and these people were the love of her life. Her personality melded with their culture—their music and their spirituality became her own.”
“Her trust in following the Word of God revealed to her in people, sacrament, scripture, reading, and her times of deep and contemplative prayer”
“She is so wonderful, holy, gentle and non-stop working sister… Every day, in small but essential ways, she made the world a better place. She did what she could to lift spirits, and she put others first. She is the one who only knows one way of giving—with both hands, with all their heart, without a second thought.”
“It seemed as though Sister was always looking forward to the next encounter, the next opportunity to be of service.”
“Her spirit of freedom allowed her to embrace so many different forms of spirituality. In the past few days several persons have told me that Sister taught them so much about God. That she had extraordinary trust in God, no matter what. That she saw the good in everyone and would go the extra mile to help in whatever way she could.
“The Sacrifice of the Mass was the center of her life and even when traveling, her first question was always: ‘Where are the nearest churches and what time are the Masses?’ Over the years in numerous parish churches, she met and ministered to the devout men and women who came to know her through her daily presence with them at the early morning Mass.”
“Her 100 years were marked continually by a cheerful generosity responding to whatever need was at hand — and that cheerfulness was marked by a kind of free-spirited independence.”
I stand on the shoulders and walk in the footsteps of Sisters of Providence who taught, encouraged, listened to, and challenged me to continue to give the best of myself in ministry, prayer, and living the vows in our community.
I carry their love of children with me in my ministry driving my Itty Bitty Bookmobile to read stories to preschoolers in inner city Indianapolis. I carry their compassionate touch to the Providence Associate I visit at the Indiana Women’s Prison. I carry their love of the poor to the food pantry where I witness the poor helping each other. I carry their passion for justice to Honduras in a mission trip with my parish.
I am inspired by our sisters – their witness, commitment to the Gospel, and trust in Providence.
To read more about the lives of our sisters, find the commentaries under Obituaries.
Wonderful reflection, S. Patty. Thank you.